I'm a songwriter and I have been told many many times by industry people that I need to dumb my lyrics down and I don't do rap. It is very difficult for me because I've been writing poetry since I was 6 and I love getting creative with words and imagery. When I play out people tell me what they appreciate most are my lyrics. But industry people generally don't like different or out of the box. They like the formulas they know will sale so they always tell me to listen to so and so and try to sound like them. And if someone a little different has some success then all of a sudden there are a million copycats right behind them to where if you listen to the radio you cant tell one from another. Remember all the boy bands in the 90s. As an artist who wants a record deal often you face the choice of sell out or starve to death. Not to mention there are people who will only work with you if you if you give them partial writing credits on your song even if they didnt write a damn thing. So you lose out on some of the royalties. But the successful writers I know all say 50 % of something is better than 100% of nothing.
"A life without fame can be a good life, but fame without a life is no life at all." - Clive Davis